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Jun 11, 2020


Ganoderma lucidum can enhance the immunity of the elderly with cardiovascular disease.

The decline of immunity is an inevitable phenomenon of aging, and the elderly with cardiovascular disease have more serious problems with immune disorders. Let’s take a look at how “ Ganoderma lucidum affects the cellular immune function of the elderly” published in the Chinese Journal of Geriatrics in 1993.

The report pointed out that the elderly with an average age of 65 years old and suffering from hyperlipidemia or cardiocerebral atherosclerosis, after taking 30 days of Ganoderma powder (4.5 grams per day), the activity of natural killer cells and the concentrations of interferon γ and interleukin 2 in the blood were significantly improved, and the effect persisted even after the Ganoderma lucidum was discontinued for 10 days (Figure 1).

Natural killer cells can kill virus-infected cells and secrete interferon γ; interferon γ not only inhibits virus proliferation but also promotes the ability of macrophages to engulf the virus; interleukin 2 is a cytokine produced by activated T cells and can not only promote T cell proliferation but also induce B cells to produce antibodies. Therefore, the improvement of these three immune indicators is of great significance for improving the immune system’s antiviral ability.
Lingzhi can improve the antioxidant capacity of middle-aged people.

In 2017, a research team led by Professor Wang Jinkun of Chung Shan Medical University published a clinical study in Pharmaceutical Biology. This study used a  randomized, double-blind, placebo control model to compare 39 healthy middle-aged people (40-54 years old) on the difference in antioxidant capacity between “Eating Lingzhi” and “Not eating Lingzhi”.

The Reishi Mushroom group took 225 mg of Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body extract preparation (containing 7% ganoderic acid and 6% polysaccharide peptide) every day. After 6 months, the various antioxidant indicators of the subjects increased  (Table 1) while their liver function improved—the average values of AST and ALT decreased by 42% and 27% respectively. Instead, the placebo group underwent “no significant difference” compared to before.
Ganoderma lucidum helps children foster a good immune system.

Although it is generally not recommended for children to eat Ganoderma lucidum, preschool children are a group of people who are easily susceptible to colds and illnesses, which is also a real headache for many parents. The research published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms by Antioquia University just in 2018 mainly evaluated the effect of Ganoderma on the immune function of preschool children, so it is also introduced here for your reference.

The study used a randomized, double-blind, placebo control model to divide the healthy children aged 3 to 5 years old into Ganoderma lucidum group (60 children) and placebo group (64 children). The same yogurt was given to the two groups of subjects every day. The difference is that the yogurt in the Ganoderma group contains 350 mg of Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide from Ganoderma lucidum mycelia per serving.

After 12 weeks, the number of T cells in the Ganoderma group increased significantly, but the proportion of T cell subsets (CD4+ and CD8+) was not affected (Table 3).

As for ALT, AST, creatinine and cytokines related to abnormal inflammation (including IL-12 p70, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α) as well as natural killer cells and IgA antibodies, there was no significant difference in the numbers between the two groups before and after the test.
The immune system in childhood has to deal with 10 to 15 viruses that are in contact for the first time every year. Therefore, the researchers believe that Ganoderma lucidum polysaccharide can promote the proliferation of T cell populations, help the preschool children’s immune system to accelerate maturity.

Adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, happy mood and moderate exercise can improve immunity. However, human inertia, years, diseases and stress of life can hinder the maintenance of good immunity.

Ganoderma lucidum is good at fighting alone, and it can also be combined into a prescription. It is safe, reliable and comprehensive in function. It’s both “non-specific” (widely against a variety of pathogens) and “specific” (against specific pathogens). It can be beneficial to the health needs of people of different ages through boosting the immune systems.

It is just right to fight against invisible germs with invisible good immunity. If good antioxidant capacity is added, it will be difficult for the invading bacteria to make waves.

1. Tao Sixiang etc. The effect of Ganoderma lucidum on the cellular immune function of the elderly. Chinese Journal of Geriatrics, 1993, 12(5): 298-301.
2. Chiu HF, et al. Triterpenoids and polysaccharide peptides-enriched Ganoderma lucidum: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study of its antioxidation and hepatoprotective efficacy in healthy volunteers.
Pharm Biol. 2017, 55(1): 1041-1046.
3. Henao SLD, et al. Randomized Clinical Trial for the Evaluation of Immune Modulation by Yogurt Enriched with β-Glucans from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), in Children from Medellin. Colombia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2018;20(8):705-716.